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Chapter IX



Functional Organization in the Middle East, Mediterranean (Formerly North African), and European Theaters


The Africa-Middle East area became a theater primarily of British strategic responsibility, and no American theater for combat operations was formed there. However, the U.S. Government, under its lend-lease program supplied materiel to the Allied British forces which fought the Afrika Korps, and moved supplies to Russia through the overland and aerial routes that were contained in this area. Subsequently, these logistic support activities were taken over by U.S. military missions which were sent there during the prewar emergency periods. Some time after the United States had entered the war, on 16 June 1942, the foregoing activities were completely militarized under two theaterlike commands: USAFIME (U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East), and USAFICA (U.S. Army Forces in Central Africa). The former eventually absorbed the latter and, in September 1943, also assumed jurisdiction of another independent, theaterlike command, USAFIL (U.S. Army Forces in Liberia). The PGC (Persian Gulf Command) was established on 10 December 1943, as an entity separate from USAFIME, but was rejoined with it in the fall of 1945. Earlier that year, on 1 March 1945, the major theater headquarters was assigned jurisdiction over the few units and personnel of MTOUSA (Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. Army) that remained in northwestern Africa , concurrently, its name was changed to USAFAMET (U.S. Army Forces, Africa-Middle East Theater). Each of the foregoing commands contained its own Army Veterinary Service organization.

The Army Veterinary Service with USAFIME had its start on 7 July 1942.1 At that time, pursuant to a plan developed 6 months earlier by the medical officer with the original USMNAM (U.S. Military North African Mission), a veterinary officer arrived from the Zone of Interior at this theater headquarters location in Cairo, Egypt. The original military mission, it must be mentioned, was one of several such agencies which had come into this area before the active war period to coordinate U.S. lend?

1Maj. (later Lt. Col.) Edgerton L. Watson, VC, was the theater veterinarian until his departure on 22 February 1944, when Maj. Walter A. Lawrence was so designated. Following the latter's departure for return to the United States on 21 November 1945, Capt. Clark E. Burt, VC, commanding, 912th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment, assumed duties as acting theater veterinarian.


lease supply and technical assistance for Russia and the British armies which were fighting the Nazi-Fascist military advances in North Africa. Another U.S. military mission was established in Iran, along the route in the Persian corridor or southern "backdoor" entrance into Russia. USMNAM, sometime after 7 December 1941, partially militarized its activities to form three area offices; namely Asmara (Eritrea), Heliopolis (Egypt), and Tel Aviv (Palestine). Then, on 16 June 1942, the militarization of American governmental operations in the areas was completed, these being organized under jurisdiction of the new USAFIME (1).

The formation of the theater command saw the final militarization of the USMNAM as the NASC (North African Service Command),2 with headquarters at Gura, Eritrea, together, with its three area commands, and that of the Iranian Mission as the Iran-Iraq Service Command, with headquarters at Basra, Iraq. Each headquarters contained a medical section, but only the theater headquarters immediately gained the assignment of the veterinary officer who had arrived during July 1942. This theater organization lasted for only 2 months; on 11 August 1942, the three area subcommands were reorganized as Eritrea, Delta, and Levant Service Commands, respectively, and Iran-Iraq Service Command was renamed PGSC (Persian Gulf Service Command). Before the end of the year, on 7 December 1942, a fifth service command-Libyan Service Command-was established, with headquarters at Benghazi, Libya. During November 1942, these service commands were grouped under control of the new Headquarters, Services of Supply, USAFIME. By this date, the Army Veterinary Service included 13 officers and 17 enlisted personnel-a number that was generally adequate for assignment to all service commands. The senior veterinary officer formerly assigned to the theater headquarters medical section now was assigned to the new Headquarters, Services of Supply, but acted also at the previous theater level in a dual-status capacity. Actually, this did not last for a year before Headquarters, Services of Supply, was disbanded on 12 September 1943, and the office of theater veterinarian was reestablished.

At about the same time, the Middle East theater gained two army commands: USAFICA which now was reorganized as WASC (West African Service Command), with headquarters at Accra, Gold Coast, and USAFIL, with headquarters at Roberts Field, near Monrovia, Liberia. Later, on 10 December 1942), the Persian Gulf Service Command was transferred from theater control and was established as the separate, autonomous oversea command, Persian Gulf Command. Summarizing, as of the end of 1943, the veterinary staff organization included the officers on duty at the following subcommand headquarters: Eritrea Service Command; Delta Service Command; Levant Service Command; Benghazi Base Command and Tripoli Base Command, successors to Libyan Service Command, May 1943; West

2NASC, formed in June and disbanded during August 1942, must not be confused with the command by the same name that was established on 1 March 1945, covering the geographic area in northwestern Africa .


African Service Command; and U.S. Army Forces in Liberia. One of the greatest difficulties was the enormous distances between installations and the attendant scattering of veterinary personnel. Then, during the forepart of 1944, the subcommand structure was again changed wherewith Eritrea Service Command was redesignated EBC (Eritrea Base Command), and the Delta Service Command was expanded into the new, larger MESC (Middle East Service Command) which absorbed also the Levant, Benghazi, and Tripoli subcommands. Also, in May 1944, the Cairo Military District was established.

The larger share of veterinary personnel in the several base and service commands were assigned into space vacancies created by the theater's overhead allocations or were attached to diverse medical units. Only one unit, the 289th Quartermaster Refrigeration Company (Fixed), was actually authorized veterinary personnel, but this was inactivated in May 1944, approximately a year after its arrival in the theater. Then, on 10 February 1945, four veterinary food inspection detachments were activated and organized to improve the efficiency of personnel and to simplify the administration of veterinary activities: The 909th at Accra in the WASC; the 910th at Asmara in EBC; the 911th at Camp Russell B. Huckstep in MESC; and the 912th in the Cairo Military District. Another, the 76th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment at Casablanca, French Morocco, was added 2 months later when, as will be noted, the North African area of the Mediterranean theater was absorbed by the Middle East theater.

Effective on 1 March 1945, USAFIME was renamed AMET (Africa?Middle East Theater). Concurrently, military activities and personnel remaining in French Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia that were under jurisdiction of MTOUSA, that is, the latter's Mediterranean Base Section organization, were transferred to control of the newly redesignated theater and were reorganized as NASC (North African Service Command) with headquarters and the acting service command veterinarian located at Casablanca. With the cessation of the war in Europe, other changes soon were made in the composition of the theater's subcommands. The WASC was disbanded on 1 July 1945, its personnel and activities being added to the NASC. Then, on 1 October 1945, the PGC again became a service subcommand. Now, the major theater subcommands were: Middle East Service Command, Eritrea Base Command, U.S. Army Forces in Liberia, North African Service Command, and Persian Gulf Service Command. This organization was further reduced during the winter of 1945-46, and during May 1946 the theater was inactivated. The personnel and activities remaining in the area were assumed by the new DUSAME (Detachment, U.S. Army, Middle East ) with headquarters at Cairo.

Throughout the war period, the principal activity of the Army Veterinary Service in the Middle East and Africa-Middle East theaters was the inspection of subsistence-both that consumed locally and the supply to the


Allies. There were no U.S. military animals. However, in early 1943, approximately 25 or 30 horses were borrowed from the local British forces to mount a guard patrol at Camp Russell B. Huckstep, near Heliopolis, and for recreational riding at the rest camp at Tel Litwinsky, Palestine. During January 1945, two of the horses at Camp Russell B. Huckstep developed rabies, these animals apparently being bitten by a stray dog or jackal. Subsequently, a rabies control program was instituted with the vaccination of 17 personnel, quarantine of the stable area, destruction of stray animals, and the reiteration of a year-long order against the maintenance of animal pets on the camp area. Another disease of importance in military veterinary medicine was African horse sickness, a disease against which the horses at Camp Russell B. Huckstep were vaccinated in July 1945. The disease, reappearing in Egypt in 1942 for the first time since 1928, gradually spread northward and then to Palestine and Syria. In the fall of 1944, the senior veterinary officers of this theater and of MTOUSA cooperated with local British and Egyptian officials in an investigation of the disease. In connection with animal disease investigation, it may be noted that, on request through diplomatic channels, the Army Veterinary Service also conferred at Beirut with officials of the Government of Lebanon on the epizootic of hemorrhagic septicemia and swine erysipelas which caused the loss of more than a thousand hogs in 2 years. In another incident, during an Army veterinary inspection of hog slaughter at the municipal abattoir in Cairo on 3 June 1945, foot-and-mouth disease was discovered, and findings were reported to the Egyptian officials.

The greater part of the subsistence supply inspected by the Army Veterinary Service in the Middle East theater originated from the Zone of Interior. However, during the first year, beef and small quantities of fresh eggs were procured under reverse lend-lease from the British, and throughout the war period certain perishable foods were purchased from indigenous sources. In regard to the reverse lend-lease supply, the British at first made daily issues of beef of Australian and New Zealand origin to the forces in the Delta Service Command, but, after mid-1943 when the Army completed construction of its own refrigerated plant at Heliopolis, the beef was sent by railroad car direct from Port Said. The British forces also obtained foods of U.S. origin in connection with the Allied program for feeding civilians in the Balkan countries; in May 1944, their holdings of 50,000 tons of powdered milk were inspected by the Army Veterinary Service when it became evident that the British were planning its condemnation.

The local purchasing of subsistence for Army supply throughout the Africa-Middle East area was necessarily limited by the small quantities available and by the relatively low sanitary standards in the local food establishments. The products more commonly purchased were fish, fresh eggs, and poultry. The poultry was slaughtered and dressed in Cairo under


continuous Veterinary Corps supervision. Eggs were required to be individually candled or inspected prior to purchase; following an epidemic of diarrhea in an AAF (Army Air Forces) unit that was traceable to contaminated shell eggs, the Veterinary Corps also supervised their washing before procurement. In the Levant and Delta Service Commands, dairy herds were tested against tuberculosis infection, and a fresh milk supply was developed. Parallel with the foregoing activities, the Army Veterinary Service cooperated with the Quartermaster Corps in the development of food production projects, frequently supervising their operations. For example, at Camp Russell B. Huckstep, ice cream was manufactured for sale in the Army exchange system. As of July 1945, this manufacture totaled 14,100 pounds of ice cream, and another 21,600 pounds was produced under veterinary supervision at Casablanca. A number of pig farms also were established, to dispose of Army garbage and to add variety to the ration. At Decamere Compound, a Quartermaster abattoir was operated by veterinary personnel who also trained the Italian civilian laborers, improvised the equipment, and foraged the countryside with trucks in search for animals that could be purchased. Mention must be made that the Army Veterinary Service, beginning in 1945, extended its food inspection activities to the theater's supply of non-animal-origin foods.

Services of Supply, U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East

Headquarters, Services of Supply, USAFIME, was organized in November 1942 to coordinate the theater's service forces personnel and activities. The service forces subcommands which operated under this new headquarters included Eritrea, Delta, Levant, Persian Gulf, and Libyan Service Commands; these, of course, were changed from time to time. Each service command had its own assigned or attached staff veterinarian who reported on technical matters to the Services of Supply headquarters veterinarian (also, the theater veterinarian). Actually, this service forces organization was short lived, because it became somewhat superfluous during 1943, when planning for the invasion of Europe through the Balkan countries was canceled and the tactical and air commands departed for Europe (in September 1943). Thus, in the fall of that year, Headquarters, Services of Supply, was discontinued, and the service commands were returned to direct control by theater headquarters.

Eritrea Service Command.-The Eritrea Service Command, with headquarters at Asmara, and reduced to the status of a base command in February 1944, was provided veterinary services beginning in November 1942. During 1943-44, a veterinary officer was assigned also to its Decamere Compound.

Levant Service Command.-The Levant Service Command, with headquarters at Tel Aviv (later at Tel Litwinsky), was providing veterinary services through most of the period of its existence-September 1942 to mid-


January 1944. Levant Service Command and Eritrea Service Command both were not particularly large-the former mainly operating a rest camp and military leave center to the Holy Land and the latter acting as a rear base area during the early war period when Rommel's Afrika Korps threatened entry into the Nile Valley.

Libyan Service Command.-The Libyan Service Command acted as the supply base for the several U.S. units that supported the British Eighth Army's westward drive against Rommel in North Africa. Veterinary officers were assigned to the headquarters at Tripoli, Tripolitania, in February 1943, and somewhat later (in May 1943) to the Benghazi Base Command, Tripoli Base Command, and the forward area including Tunisia-the last three having succeeded the short-lived Libyan Service Command.

Delta Service Command.-The Delta Service Command was established in August 1942 and was reorganized in February 1944 as MESC, with headquarters initially at Heliopolis, and later (May 1945) at Camp Russell B. Huckstep. This service command had its own veterinarian, beginning in December 1942. The latter supervised the veterinary activities which were conducted at Camp Russell B. Huckstep, site of a large quartermaster depot, in the Suez Canal Ports Command (established in March-April 1943), and in the Alexandria Port Command-each with its own camp or port veterinarian; in early 1944, the Suez Canal Ports Command was absorbed by the larger Alexandria Port Command.

Middle East Service Command.-The Middle East Service Command was created in mid-February 1944 as the engroupment of the theater's former Delta, Levant, and Libyan Service Commands-now disbanded; its headquarters medical staff comprised a continuation of that of the Delta Service Command. The EBC was subordinated to it at first, but, in December 1944, the base command was reestablished as a separate theater command. Another separate command was the Cairo Military District, established in May 1944. The importance of the MESC, from an organizational viewpoint, is that it, with two minor area exceptions, and the Persian Gulf area comprised the original geographic area of the theater; also, before it was established, the Middle East theater had absorbed another, USAFICA, the latter now existing as the WASC (after September 1943). Both the MESC and the WASC had their own veterinary services.

U.S. Army Forces in Central Africa

The Central Africa theater, with headquarters at Accra, was established on 16 June 1942, concurrently with USAFIME. This comprised the original defense command for the bases along the southern trans-African air route which were being used by the ATC (Air Transport Command) to ferry lend-lease aircraft to Russia and the British forces. The veterinary service organization with the Central African theater was limited to the Veterinary Corps officer who was assigned to the 93d Station Hospital,


which arrived from the Zone of Interior at Dakar, French West Africa. Elsewhere, along the route of air bases through British West Africa, Nigeria, French Equatorial Africa, and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan that were used by the ATC, the latter's assigned veterinary personnel performed the necessary base veterinary services. When the enemy forces were pushed out of North Africa, the trans-African air-ferry route was moved northward to the Mediterranean coastline of Africa, so that the Central African theater no longer had a major military mission. Thus, on 12 September 1943, USAFICA was disbanded, and its activities were reorganized into the WASC, under the jurisdiction of USAFIME. During May of the following year, the station hospital-assigned veterinarian was relocated in Accra to assume the function as service command veterinarian; and, in February 1945, he also became commanding officer of the newly activated 909th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment. Headquarters, WASC, was disbanded in July 1945, and the Accra base was transferred to the jurisdiction of NASC under the new name of Southern Town Command.

U.S. Army Forces in Liberia

The U.S. Army Forces in Liberia, with headquarters at Roberts Field, originated with the landing on 16 June 1942 of an Engineer regiment and the first echelon of Army Task Force 5889, aggregating 1,200 troops. The accompanying task force veterinarian was the first Army Veterinary Corps officer to locate on the African Continent during World War II (2). On 12 September 1943, the control over USAFIL was transferred to USAFIME, but this theater continued the former as a semiautonomous subcommand throughout the remainder of the war period. The office of the force veterinarian, or Roberts Field station veterinarian, was continued until 23 April 1944; during the next month and until 4 November 1945, veterinary activities-concerned with the inspection of foods-were conducted by a veterinary noncommissioned officer under the supervision of the surgeon. Its one instance on record, a relatively large quantity of foods was lost when refrigerant gas could not be obtained to properly operate the refrigerated storage facilities. All meat and dairy products consumed in Liberia were received from the Zone of Interior.

North African Service Command

The North African Service Command (established on 1 March 1945 and disbanded in early 1946), with headquarters at Casablanca, was the continuation of Mediterranean Base Section, MTOUSA, when the latter's control over activities in French Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, were transferred to AMET.3 At the service command headquarters level, veterinary

3The foregoing is not to be confused with the command of the same name, which did not have organic veterinary services, that existed in June-August 1942, and included military activities in Eritrea, Egypt, and Palestine.  


matters were supervised by the commanding officer, 76th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment. The NASC itself was divided into so-called Town Commands: Eastern, in Tunis, Tunisia; Center, in Algiers, Algeria; Western, in Oran, Algeria; and, after mid-1945, Southern, in Accra, when the WASC was disbanded.

Persian Gulf Command

The Persian Gulf Command was an independent oversea command during the period 10 December 1943 to 1 October 1945. Before and after this period, it was a major service forces subcommand of the Middle East and Africa-Middle East theaters. During the earlier history, it, was identified under a succession of names: U.S. Military Iranian Mission, after 24 June 1942 as Iran-Iraq Service Command, and after 13 August 1942 as Persian Gulf Service Command, until it became an autonomous, theaterlike command. Veterinary officers were assigned to it first in November 1942, and eventually these were on duty in the various district and port areas, including the Ports Service (or Headquarters, 9th Port) at Khorramshahr, Iran; Gulf District, with headquarters at Basra and later at Ahwaz, Iran; Desert District, with headquarters finally located at Andimeshk, Iran; and Mountain District, with headquarters at Tehran, Iran. These stretched northward from the Persian Gulf, along a busy route for lend-lease supply to the Allied Russian armies. Military personnel and civilian contractors were rationed mainly on foods received from the United States, and infrequently these were supplemented by local procurements of fresh eggs, poultry, game, fish, and fruits and vegetables. The fresh meat supply from the local abattoirs was referred to as demonstrating "a studied neglect of sanitation" and thus were excluded from U.S. Army supply. Regarding the foods imported into the command, it was noted that-

Extremely hot weather in this area presented a constant problem in preservation of subsistence. Meats of the pork luncheon type [i.e., canned] did not keep when exposed to temperatures of 100? to 120? which are relatively mild summer temperatures in Iran.

Salted meat shipped in barrels was often improperly prepared before shipment overseas, and in many cases water evaporation caused spoilage. In one instance, 400 barrels of salt pork and brisket of corned beef were condemned because the water in the brine had evaporated.

Mechanical refrigeration on ships was overtaxed in these areas and often failed prior to docking at the Persian Gulf ports. During the year [1943] 469,473 pounds of beef out of a shipment of 18,943,437 pounds were condemned due to failure of mechanical refrigeration on ships.

Veterinary service was instrumental in recommending and supervising the construction of large underground storage cellars, which resulted in a marked saving of subsistence arriving from the United States.

Ninth Air Force and Air Transport Command

The veterinary service with the AAF (Army Air Forces) included that of the Ninth Air Force and that with elements of the ATC. The  


latter had been operating its Africa-Middle East Wing through the theater since the start of lend-lease aid to the Russian armies and to the British Army which fought the German Afrika Korps; in December 1943, the wing gave origin to two separate wings: the North African Wing, mainly in the Mediterranean theater, and the Central African Wing, whose route of airbases traversed through the Central African and the Middle East theaters. The latter, renamed Central African Division, ATC, as of January 1944 included two veterinary officers and four enlisted personnel. These acted as base veterinarians, focal inspectors, and supervisors of local abattoirs, such as at Accra, at Kano, Lagos, and Maiduguri in Nigeria, and at El Fasher and El Geneina in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. There were two veterinary officers, also, with the Ninth Air Force, which for about a year operated against enemy targets in northern Africa and central Europe. In the fall of 1943, this air force departed for the European theater.


Operation TORCH, the assault and landings on the northwestern coastline of Africa, was carried out on 8-11 November 1942 by three task forces, totaling more than 100,000 Allied troops: The Western Task Force of U.S. troops convoyed from the Zone of Interior, landing in the vicinity of Casablanca; the Center Task Force, mainly made up of U.S. II Corps from the United Kingdom, landing in the Oran Sector of Algeria; and the British Eastern Assault Force, moving into Algiers. As of the end of December 1942, at least 10 Veterinary Corps officers belonging to the European theater were on duty with such units in North Africa as II Corps, 1st and 34th Infantry and 1st Armored Divisions, Special Group-Services of Supply, 2d Medical Supply Depot, 3rd Port of Embarkation, Twelfth Air Force, and XII Air Force Service Command; another was assigned to AFHQ (Allied Force Headquarters) (3). Other units having assigned veterinary personnel that arrived in North Africa before this date included Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "A," 2d Medical Laboratory, and the 68th and 282d Quartermaster Refrigeration Companies. The first campaign in North Africa (Algeria-French Morocco Campaign) was completed within 3 days of the landings of the task forces, but the Tunisia Campaign (starting on 12 November 1942) saw the continuing engagement of U.S. combat troops to mid-May 1943.

Allied Force Headquarters

When the foregoing veterinary units and personnel arrived on the coastal regions of French Morocco and Algeria, there was yet no theater of operations; NATOUSA (North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army) was not formed until 4 February 1943. In the interim, they were a part of, and under the immediate jurisdiction of, the combined American-British military staff agency, AFHQ. This had been formed in London on 11  


August 1942, had planned Operation TORCH, transferred location to Gibraltar and directed the assault landings that were made on 8 November 1942, and during December 1942 was separated from its earlier ties with the developing European theater. AFHQ included a medical section under the directorate of a British medical officer, but subdivided into a British component and a smaller American component. Before and immediately after the arrival of this AFHQ medical section in North Africa, there was no indication that there would be any direction or coordination of the task forces' veterinary services at this staff level. It is possible that the British medical director had no conception that the U.S. Army Veterinary Service was an operational element of the Medical Department-observing, of course, that the British military veterinary service is an independent corps, completely outside of the jurisdiction of the British medical corps. In any event, the U.S. medical component soon gained a short-lived or temporary addition to its original allocation of four personnel space vacancies that saw the assignment of a Veterinary Corps officer from the European theater on 28 December 1942. The assignment lasted only to 28 February 1943 when the added personnel space allocations were withdrawn, and no veterinary officer was reassigned to duty in AFHQ until March 1944.4

North African Theater

The developing need for U.S. Army staff control over the expanding American military activities and personnel was satisfied on 4 February 1943, with the establishment of NATOUSA. This organization marked the culmination of the European theater's jurisdiction in North Africa and was also the American counterpart to, or component paralleling, the local British theater-the two being combined to form the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Allied. With this new organization in February 1943, those U.S. Army Medical Department officers who were then assigned to the AFHQ medical section now served in a dual duty status in the newly formed NATOUSA medical section. The latter, however, was augmented by the assignment of additional personnel. However, no veterinary officer was assigned to this theater medical section in a double duty status until March 1944 except for a very brief period of time in early 1943 (from 28 February to 9 March) and for the temporary duty assignment of a junior veterinary officer beginning sometime in the fall of 1943.5

During the first year of its existence, this United States theater headquarters generally assumed direct control over the several base section sub?

4AFHQ veterinarians included Lt. Col. S. B. Renshaw, VC, for the period, 28 December 1942 to 28 February 1943, and Col. J. E. Noonan, VC, for the period, 2 March 1944 to the end the war.
5Colonel Renshaw was transferred from AFHQ to the theater headquarters on 28 February 1943, and then, on 9 March 1943, to Headquarters, Mediterranean Base Section. (See also footnote 4, above.) Lt. Col. D. L. Cady, VC, was attached to theater headquarters from a replacement depot in the period from 18 October 1943 to 3 April 1944; Colonel Noonan, assigned to AFHQ, served in the dual capacity also as theater veterinarian.  


commands that were in existence, or were formed later, even though a theater services of supply organization was established on 15 February 1943. The base section subcommands included the Atlantic, in French Morocco; the Mediterranean, in Algeria; the Eastern, in Tunisia; the Island, on Sicily; the Northern, comprising Sardinia and Corsica; and the Peninsular, on the Italian mainland. They were not transferred to the operational control of Services of Supply, NATOUSA, until early 1944. Seemingly, the only operational controls regarding Medical Department activities that were originally assigned to this services of supply organization were medical supply. Summarizing, a critical situation existed for more than a year when there was no technical adviser to the theater surgeon on veterinary affairs, and, as will be noted later, most of the base sections had no permanently assigned veterinary officers on their medical staffs. In no major oversea theater was there a parallel to the hopeless, day-to-day operations of the Army Veterinary Service, particularly in its food inspection activities, in the North African theater in 1943.

Toward the close of 1943, the Veterinary Corps strength in the North African theater totaled 50 officers-these being assigned to units or attached from replacement depots for duty, as follows (4):

Attending Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army 

Veterinary Section, Public Health Subcommission, Allied Control Commission      
Veterinary Section, 15th Medical General Laboratory                                 
Attending Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Atlantic Base Section:                                
     Veterinary Detachment, 68th Quartermaster Refrigeration Company             
     Attending Veterinarian, Quartermaster Section, Atlantic Base Section              
Mediterranean Base Section:                                                                                   
     Veterinary Section, 4th Medical Laboratory
     Veterinary Detachment, 282d Quartermaster Refrigeration Company
     Attending Veterinary Detachment, 3d General Depot
     Attending Veterinarians (at depots), Quartermaster Section, Mediterranean Base Section
     Veterinary Section, 3d Port
     Attending Veterinary Section, Center District, Mediterranean Base Section
Eastern Base Section:
     Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "C"
     Veterinary Section, 1st Medical Laboratory
     Veterinary Section, 7th Medical Supply Depot
     Attending Veterinarian, 2664th Quartermaster Depot
     Attending Veterinarians (depot), Quartermaster Section, Eastern Base Section
     Veterinary Section, 8th Port  
Attending Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Island Base Section:
     Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "T"
     Attending Veterinarian, Quartermaster Section, Island Base Section
     Veterinary Section, 10th Port
Peninsular Base Section:
     Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "A"
     Veterinary Section, 2d Medical Laboratory
     Attending Veterinarian, Quartermaster Section, Peninsular Base Section
     Veterinary Section, 6th Port
Veterinarian, Fifth U.S. Army:
     Veterinarian, VI Corps
     Veterinary Sections, Surgeons' Officers, 3d, 34th, 36th, and 45th Infantry Divisions, and 82d Airborne Division


Attending Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army-Continued 

Veterinarian, Twelfth Air Force Service Command: 
     Adriatic Depot: 
Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "B"

The more singular defects in the Army Veterinary Service of the theater at the time were, as noted earlier, the lack of staff representatives in the theater surgeon's office and in the several base section medical offices, and the consequent separation of veterinary personnel and units without overall, unified technical supervision. Also, more than a third of the veterinary officers in the theater were located in replacement pools from which many were attached for duty at depots and ports. The foregoing situation officially came to command attention first during the fall of 1943 when, on request of the Surgeon, Headquarters, NATOUSA, and under orders of the theater commander, a veterinary officer surveyed the Army Veterinary Service. The Medical Department's request for the survey originated after the arrival (in September 1943) of 12 veterinary officers from the Zone of Interior on the basis of a Quartermaster Corps requisition. The requisition was based on AFHQ planning for U.S. military supervision of Allied French slaughterhouses in North Africa that would supply fresh meat to troops under a reverse lend-lease agreement. The Quartermaster Corps plan was not activated, nor was the Medical Department previously consulted.

During February 1944, the theater headquarters organization was changed so that many of its service forces activities were transferred to the year-old Services of Supply, NATOUSA. The veterinary officer who was serving as attending veterinary consultant to the theater surgeon, in a temporary duty status, was assigned full-time duty in the newly expanded Headquarters, Services of Supply, as staff veterinarian, on 3 April 1944. In the interim, or on 2 March 1944, a senior Veterinary Corps officer, newly arrived from the Zone of Interior, was assigned-pursuant to War Department orders-to the Medical Section, AFHQ, and thus became the theater veterinarian, in the Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, NATOUS. At this time and continuing for the remainder of the active war period, veterinary personnel and activities were coordinated and supervised on a theaterwide basis. These technical or professional controls were extended equally to veterinary affairs in the service forces as well as to those in the field armies and the AAF, even though the AAF was under the command of AFHQ (and not of the American theater headquarters which had only logistic support responsibilities to the ground troops and air forces).

The significance of the aforementioned 12 veterinary officers was the fact that they were necessarily placed in replacement pools or depots from which they were reassigned in a temporary duty status to existing medical, quartermaster, and port units and organizations. There were no immediate position vacancies available to which they could be permanently assigned. Along with this, there were mis-assignments, assignments which would have best been made with more senior officers, and assignments which required  


specially trained personnel. However, this personnel situation became even less tolerable before it was improved-with the 2d Cavalry Division arriving at Oran in late March 1944, and its 20 officers forming another pool (under the designation of Headquarters Troop, 5th Cavalry Brigade). Basically, these personnel were needed to augment the veterinary food inspection service and to satisfy the developing requirements for veterinary animal services in the tactical units and quartermaster remount operations. Thus, in the general reorganization of veterinary affairs-impetus being given to this by the new Office of Theater Veterinarian-the "replacement pool" concept of temporary assignments to conduct an efficient theater veterinary service was replaced by the organization of appropriate units and the development of recognized position vacancies in organizations to which personnel were permanently assigned. While the foregoing personnel situation existed to a degree in other theaters, during the first year or so of the war period, there was no other major theater in which it persisted as long is it did in the North African theater. Subsequently, before the end of 1944, the theater's veterinary service was augmented by the activation of 12 veterinary food inspection detachments and a separate veterinary company, and veterinary officers were permanently assigned to a number of other units and organizations.

As of 1 June 1944, the functional organization of the Army Veterinary Service in the North African theater included:

Theater Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army  

Veterinary Section, Public Health Subcommission, Allied Control Commission      
Veterinary Section, 15th Medical General Laboratory
Veterinary Section, 1st Medical Laboratory
Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, Services of Supply:            
     Mediterranean Base Section:                                                                                   
          Veterinary Section, 4th Medical Laboratory
          Veterinary Detachment, 282d Quartermaster Refrigeration Company
     Veterinary Section, 2604th Quartermaster Depot (Overhead)
     Veterinary Detachment, 3d Port
     Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Center District:
          6734th Medical Platoon
     Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Eastern Base Section:
          Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "C"
          Veterinary Detachment 8th Port  
     Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Island Base Section:
          Veterinary Detachment, 10th Port
     Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Northern Base Section: 
          Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "T"
     Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Peninsular Base Section:
          Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "A"
          Veterinary Detachment, 68th Quartermaster Refrigeration Company
          Veterinary Section, 6742d Quartermaster Remount Depot
          Veterinary Section, 6th Port
Veterinarian, U.S. Fifth Army:
     Veterinary Section, 2d Medical Laboratory
     17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital
     Veterinary Section, Surgeon's Office, VI Corps
     Veterinary Detachment, 601st Field Artillery Battalion
     Veterinary Detachment, 602d Field Artillery Battalion
     Veterinary Sections, Surgeon's Offices of the 1st Armored, and the 3d, 34th, 36th, and 45th Infantry Division
Veterinarian, Army Air Forces Service Command, Mediterranean Theater of Operations:
     Veterinary Section, I Air Force Service Command
     Veterinary Section, XII Air Force Service Command
     Veterinary Section, XV Air Force Service Command
     Adriatic Depot:
          Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "B"

Mediterranean Theater

Soon after the successful landings on the southern coast of France (Operation ANVIL-DRAGOON) that marked the Southern France Campaign (15 August to 14 September), the theater organization was changed, as were its geographic boundaries. Approximately 25 veterinary officers accompanied the Seventh U.S. Army and the supporting base section subcommands going into southern France from the North African theater. Effective on 1 November 1944, NATOUSA was redesignated MTOUSA. In the interim, as will be noted, the original Services of Supply was reorganized under the new designation of Communications Zone-first of NATOUSA and then of MTOUSA, but, on 20 November 1944, the Communications Zone was discarded from the theater organization. Concurrently, Headquarters, MTOUSA, resumed full and direct operational control over the existing base sections-a situation somewhat comparable to that before February 1944. In northwestern Africa there was the newly consolidated Mediterranean Base Section; on Corsica and Sardinia, the Northern Base Section; and below the combat area of the Fifth U.S. Army in western Italy, the Peninsular Base Section-each with its own veterinary service organization. In addition, the theater veterinarian dealt with the army veterinarian, Fifth U.S. Army, and the veterinary elements of the AAFSC (Army Air Forces Service Command); also, the theater veterinarian acted at the level of AFHQ and with the veterinary CA/MG (Civil Affairs and Military Government) officer assigned to Allied Commission, Italy. 


At the beginning of 1945, the Army Veterinary Service-now approximating a strength of 37 officers and more than 80 enlisted personnel-was well distributed throughout the base sections, Fifth U.S. Army, and AAF, as follows:

Theater Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (also Medical Section, Allied Force Headquarters)

Veterinary Section, Public Health Subcommission, Allied Commission      
Veterinary Section, 15th Medical General Laboratory 
Mediterranean Base Section:
     76th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment
     Veterinary Section, 3d Port
Northern Base Section:
     77th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment
Veterinary Section, Surgeon's Office, Peninsular Base Section:
     66th, 67th, 68th, 69th, 71st, 73d, 74th, 75th, and 889th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments  
     Veterinary Detachment, 282d Quartermaster Refrigeration Company 
     Veterinary Detachment, 6742d Quartermaster Remount (Overhead) 
     Veterinary Section, 8th Port 
     Veterinary Section, 10th Port
     2698th Technical Supply Regiment
Rome Area Command:
     72d Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment
     Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Fifth U.S. Army:  
          Veterinary Section, 2d Medical Laboratory
Army Air Forces Service Command, Mediterranean Theater of Operations:
     6565th, 6566th, and 6567th Veterinary Detachments (Air Force Overhead) 
     Adriatic Depot:
          70th and 888th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments

Equally as important was the fact that the theater's replacement depots or pools now had only 1 veterinary officer; 3 months earlier there were 16 officers in such depots or pools, of which number 12 were attached to units for duty.

During the early months of 1945, the Veterinary Corps officer strength was almost doubled by the arrival of the 10th Mountain Division, but there was little change on 1 March 1945 when the theater's personnel and activities remaining in North Africa were transferred to the jurisdiction of the newly expanded (and redesignated) USAFAMET. On 1 May 1945, or just before the German armies in Italy capitulated, the Army Veterinary Service in the Mediterranean theater approximated 74 officers and 300 enlisted personnel assigned as follows:

Theater Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (also Medical Section, Allied Force Headquarters)

Veterinarian, Public Health Subcommission, Allied Commission
Veterinary Section, 15th Medical General Laboratory
Veterinary Section, Surgeon's Office, Peninsular Base Section:
     66th, 67th, 68th, 69th, 71st, 73d, 74th, 75th, 77th, and 889th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments
     643d and 644th Veterinary Evacuation Detachments
     2604th Veterinary Station Hospital (Overhead)
     2605th Veterinary General Hospital (Overhead)
     Veterinary Detachment, 282d Quartermaster Refrigeration Company 
     Veterinary Detachment, 2610th Quartermaster Remount Depot  
     Veterinary Detachment, 6742d Quartermaster Remount (Overhead) 
     Veterinary Section, 8th Port
     Veterinary Section, 10th Port 
     Veterinary Section, 2698th Technical Supervision Regiment
Rome Area Command:
     72d Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment  
Adriatic Base Command:
     70th and 888th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments
Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, Fifth U.S. Army:
     Veterinary Section, 2d Medical Laboratory  
     Veterinarian, Surgeon's Office, 10th Mountain Division:
          Veterinary Company, 10th Mountain Medical Battalion
     Veterinarian, Special Troops
     Veterinary Sections, 85th, 86th, and 87th Mountain Infantry Regiments
     Veterinary Sections, 604th and 605th Field Artillery Battalions
     Veterinary Section, 126th Mountain Engineer Battalion 
Army Air Forces Service Command, Mediterranean Theater of Operations:
     6565th, 6566th, and 6567th Veterinary Detachments (Air Force Overhead) 

After the close of the Po Valley Campaign (5 April to 8 May 1945) which had ended with the surrender of the German armies in Italy, the Army Veterinary Service prepared its units for redeployment to the Pacific theater or inactivation, and for retrenchment within the theater. Also, six food inspection detachments were newly activated and organized for redeployment; and an additional six were improvised for continued use in the theater until the quartermaster subsistence stockpiles were disposed of. The first group comprised the 476th through the 481st Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments; the latter were the 6645th, 6646th, and 6647th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments (Provisional) in the Peninsular Base Section, the 6648th with Fifth U.S. Army, the 6649th in the Rome Area Command, and the 6650th in the Adriatic Base Command. During October 1945, the theater was separated from AFHQ, and the former's headquarters medical section began to transfer its workload to the Surgeon's Office, Peninsular Base Section (fig. 20).

The accomplishments of the Army Veterinary Service in the Mediterranean theater are about evenly divided between those relating to the inspection of foods and the veterinary service with animals. The latter had a small beginning in the combat divisions in North Africa and then in Sicily, but it was not until after the Fifth U.S. Army reached the mountainous areas in southern Italy that animals-their procurement, and their professional care and treatment-were accorded full recognition. By December 1943, that army's combat divisions had obtained and were utilizing more than a thousand horses and mules, and another 600 were being processed in remount depots located behind the combat area, in the Peninsular Base Section. By mid-1944, most of the combat divisions had given up their animals as U.S.-supervised Italian pack trains became available; another 2,000 mules and horses were assembled in the Peninsular Base Section remount depots. (Including the French Expeditionary Corps, which utilized many more animals than the U.S. combat divisions and accompany Italian Army mule pack companies, the Fifth U.S. Army animal strength actually reached a peak strength, in May 1944, of 12,659 horses and mules.) Altogether, there were more than 5,000 U.S. and Italian animals for which an evacuation chain and system of veterinary hospitalization was improvised. Veterinary evacuation hospitals and evacuating companies and detachments 


FIGURE 20.-Headquarters building and row of box stalls at the 2605th Veterinary General Hospital, Mirandola, Italy, 9 May 1945.

were organized or were brought into the theater, and Italian veterinary hospital units under U.S. supervision were deployed to operate at remount depot areas and maintain a system of animal evacuation for sick and wounded animals. By the end of the active war period, more than 9,000 sick and wounded horses and mules were treated or cared for by the Army Veterinary Service. Regarding the inspections of subsistence supplies, only the statistical data for the entire theater are available for 1944 (table 19). The rejection of approximately 5 million pounds comprises 0.14 percent of the quantities of foods passed, and about 0.73 percent of the foods that were known to have been issued to troops (fig. 21). The rates of rejections in foods of nonanimal origin and field rations were double that of the meat and dairy products. In the Mediterranean theater, as in most oversea theaters during World War II, the Army Veterinary Service officers extended their meat and dairy hygiene services and also inspected foods of nonanimal origin.  


FIGURE 21.-Veterinary personnel inspecting milk supplies in Milan, Italy, June 1945. Overseas, where the supplies were inadequate to meet civilian needs and the prevailing standards of sanitation would not satisfy Army requirements, milk was not procured locally.

TABLE 19.-Veterinary inspections of food in the Mediterranean theater, 1944



Meat and dairy products

Field rations and foods of nonanimal origin








of pounds

of pounds

of pounds

of pounds

of pounds

of pounds


1,942. 08






Base sections







AAF bases














Services of Supply, North African Theater

The Army Service Forces organization-or Services of Supply-had a Medical Department role far different from that of similar organizations in other theaters when it was established on 15 February 1943. For approximately a year, it only controlled medical supply; all other Medical Department activities and personnel in the base subsections were under  


the direct operational control of Headquarters, NATOUSA. On 20 February 1944, with a reorganization of the theater, the base subsections and Medical Department activities within them were reassigned from the jurisdiction of the theater headquarters to the theater services of supply-this being a more orthodox arrangement. At this time there were six base subsections: Atlantic, Mediterranean, Eastern, Island, Northern, and Peninsular Base Sections. Base veterinary services were generally well established at quartermaster subsistence depots and in the ports; many of the base headquarters medical sections, however, operated without staff veterinary officers.

The first two of the aforementioned base sections were evolved from services forces personnel and units attached to the original Western Task Force (from the Zone of Interior) and the Center Task Force (from the European theater). The Center Task Force contained the so-called Special Group, Services of Supply, which was evolved on 8 December 1942, as the staff of Mediterranean Base Section, with headquarters at Oran. A veterinary officer had accompanied this base section to North Africa, and, in March 1943, he was replaced by another, who after his arrival in North Africa had been moved downward from AFHQ to the theater headquarters and thence to this base section headquarters.6 Following the latter's departure (hospitalization due to an injury) in August 1943, no veterinary officer was reassigned to full duty with the medical section of Mediterranean Base Section during the remainder of its existence in the Mediterranean theater. The second subcommand, Atlantic Base Section, was evolved from Services of Supply, Western Task Force-being established on an operational status on 30 December 1942, with headquarters at Casablanca. A senior veterinary officer had accompanied this service forces group from the Zone of Interior, but, after February 1943, the nominal base section veterinarian vacated his position for another in the headquarters staff (as G-4, for supply) and was replaced by a succession of junior officers, some being only attached or on additional duty assignment. The foregoing is explained in detail to show the unfortunate events in 1943 that resulted in the absence of an assigned veterinarian in the theater surgeon's office until March 1944.

On 3 April 1944, when a veterinary officer was assigned to the staff of this service forces organization, the major veterinary units or organizations with assigned veterinary personnel were four veterinary food inspection detachments, a medical laboratory, two quartermaster refrigeration companies, three ports, and a provisional remount organization. In July 1944, a request for augmentation of the food inspection service was partially granted when 12 veterinary food inspection detachments were activated pursuant to War Department authorization; the theater granted special authorization for their vehicular transport and office equipment. By November

6See footnotes 4 and 5, p. 250.  


1944, these detachments, and the original four which had arrived earlier from the Zone of Interior, were at station, as follows:




Leghorn, Italy


Piombino, Italy


Bagnoli, Italy


Cecina, Italy


Foggia, Italy


Naples, Italy


Rome, Italy


Marcianise, Italy


Leghorn, Italy


Algiers,  Algeria


Casablanca, French Morocco


Ajaccio, Corsica

887th (formerly "A")

Southern France

888th (formerly "B")

Bari, Italy

889th (formerly "C")

Marcianise, Italy

890th (formerly "T")

Southern France

With the pending plans for invading southern France, the Services of Supply redirected its efforts for supporting the landings of the Seventh U.S. Army and French First Army; on 1 October 1944, this was renamed Communications Zone. On 20 November 1944, Communications Zone, MTOUSA, with headquarters location at Dijon, France, was disbanded, but its personnel and activities were transferred to the jurisdiction of the European theater (and therein continued Southern Line of Communications). Similarly affected by this transfer were two of its base subsections: Coastal Base Section (later called Continental Base Section) and the Delta Base Section. Now the base sections were returned to operational control of theater headquarters. Actually, only three of the six bases existing in early 1944 remained: The Mediterranean Base Section, which had absorbed the personnel and activities formerly assigned to the Atlantic and the Eastern Base Sections, these being disbanded on 15 November 1944; the Northern Base Section; and the Peninsular Base Section. The Island Base Section was closed out in mid-July 1944.

Atlantic Base Section.-The Atlantic Base Section in French Morocco was established, as noted earlier, in December 1942, taking over service forces activities as the combat units of the original Western Task Force departed for the Tunisia Campaign. It was one of three such commands set up in North Africa. After mid-1943, when the combat area moved to Sicily and then to the Italian mainland, veterinary activities in this base section were rapidly cut back, and by the spring of 1944, only one Veterinary Corps officer remained-eventually taking over the command of the newly organized 76th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment at Casablanca. During the year 1944, more than 18 million pounds of canned jams, shell eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables were inspected for procurement-most of  


this being transshipped for supplying troops in Algeria. On 15 November 1944, the command was disbanded, and its personnel and activities were transferred to the jurisdiction of the Mediterranean Base Section.

Mediterranean Base Section.-The Mediterranean Base Section was the centrally located one of the three Army Service Forces base sections set up in North Africa, taking over the base units and personnel formerly assigned to Center Task Force. Its activities in the Algiers area were organized under the designation of Center District during the period from June 1943 to May 1944. After the Seventh U.S. Army invaded Sicily and the Fifth U.S. Army landed on the Italian peninsula, the base section was depleted of most of its veterinary personnel; this exodus continued through the early months of 1944. Food inspection services including salvage operations were conducted at ports, quartermaster ration dumps, and cold storage installations; also, lend-lease foods for the French were inspected, as were local ice cream plants, abattoirs, and fish piers. After 15 November 1944, when the Atlantic and the Eastern Base Sections were disbanded, the Mediterranean Base Section took over the personnel and activities remaining in North Africa; its headquarters was moved from Oran to Casablanca in December 1944. There the 76th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment's commander acted in an additional duty status as base section veterinarian. On 1 March 1945, the base section was redesignated as NASC, which was transferred from the jurisdiction of Headquarters, MTOUSA, to USAFAMET.

Eastern Base Section.-The Eastern Base Section, established on 22 February 1943-with headquarters locations at Constantine, Algeria, at Mateur, Tunisia, and finally at Bizerte, Tunisia-was in the immediate rear of the U.S. II Corps and other combat forces during the Tunisia Campaign (17 November 1942 to 13 May 1943) and was the major supply base in North Africa for the Sicily Campaign. Its headquarters medical section did not include a base section veterinarian except for a brief period in the summer-fall of 1944. After the start of the campaigns on the Italian peninsula, its importance was lessened considerably. By the spring of 1944, almost all veterinary personnel had departed-including those on duty at the quartermaster depots in Bizerte and the B?ne-Philippville, Tunisia, area, with the 8th Port, with the 68th Quartermaster Refrigeration Company at Constantine, and with the 1st Medical Laboratory. The Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "C" finally departed during June 1944 from its station at Mateur. After a lapse of approximately 2 weeks, a veterinary officer arrived on temporary duty status to assist in the close out of the subsistence stockpiles in depots it Tunis and Bizerte, but then he too departed in September 1944. On 15 November 1944, Eastern Base Section was disbanded, and such personnel and activities as remained were absorbed by the expanding Mediterranean Base Section.  


Island Base Section.-The Island Base Section was established with headquarters at Palermo, approximately 2 weeks after the end of the active campaign for Sicily, or on 1 September 1943. It was originated as the 6625th Base Area Group which had accompanied the Seventh U.S. Army and had assumed administrative jurisdiction over all service units on the island before the end of 1943. As of January 1944, the base section's veterinary service included the base veterinarian (in the surgeon's office), the 10th Port veterinarian, and Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "T"-the latter having been transferred from the Seventh U.S. Army in October 1943. There was no large assemblage of veterinary personnel here, because the African bases, rather than Sicily, remained the major base for the early operations on the Italian peninsula. On 15 July 1944, Headquarters, Island Base Section, was disbanded. The base section veterinary service was limited to the inspection of foods at ports and at quartermaster ration dumps and cold storage plants; sizable quantities of captured foods were released following inspection. However, on account of the prevailing insanitary conditions, no food procurement program was set up.

Northern Base Section.-The "land-carrier" islands of Corsica and Sardinia, which were used by the Twelfth Air Force and as a troop concentration area for the invasion of southern France, came under the Northern Base Section command on 1 January 1944, with headquarters at Ajaccio. AAF veterinarians at first provided the needed inspection services of foods handled at the port and depots at Ajaccio (also at Bastia and Casamozza, Corsica), and at Cagliari, Sardinia (and at Decima, Aligliero, and Maddalena). Sardinia, captured from a surprised German-Italian garrison, also comprised a source for approximately 1,600 pack animals that were procured and shipped to the Fifth U.S. Army, between December 1943 and May 1944, by Army veterinarians detailed there for that purpose. There was no base section veterinarian, but in July-August 1944, two veterinary food inspection detachments were assigned-the 77th to Corsica, remaining there until the spring of 1945; and the 74th to Sardinia, but departing some few months after arrival. The Northern Island Base Section was closed out in May 1945.

Peninsular Base Section.-On 1 November 1943, or less than 2 months after the Allied Armies landed on the Italian mainland, the Peninsular Base Section set up headquarters at Naples; its medical section did not have a permanently assigned veterinarians until after mid-1944. This headquarters was organized as the 6665th Base Area Group at Casablanca, under the direction initially of the Fifth U.S. Army. As of January 1944, its veterinary units and units with assigned veterinary personnel-totaling 13 officers-included a food inspection detachment, a medical laboratory, a medical supply depot, a provisional quartermaster remount depot organization, a port, and a U.S.-supervised Italian Army veterinary hospital unit. This base section veterinary service expanded rapidly during the first 6 or


7 months of 1944 as the Fifth U.S. Army pushed northward along the western side of the Italian peninsula. Another food inspection detachment, medical laboratory, two quartermaster refrigeration companies, and two port units arrived, and several new food inspection detachments were organized. Other veterinary personnel arrived later. As of September 1944, the veterinary service of the Peninsular Base Section approximated 17 officers and 61 enlisted personnel, but, by that date, some personnel and units had already departed or were committed to Operation ANVIL-DRAGOON. By this date, the Peninsular Base Section had become the largest and the most important Service Forces base section organization in the Mediterranean theater.

The base section's veterinary service with animals had its origin with the Fifth U.S. Army's demands for pack animal transport. Early in the winter of 1943-44, the base section quartermaster leaned heavily on veterinary officers to assist in the procurement of animals from the Italian countryside and of Italian army mules from Sardinia, and in the operation of remount depots and the processing of animals and outfitting of pack trains. The sick and wounded animals of the frontline troops were treated in the remount depot veterinary dispensaries set up at Santa Maria, Persano, and Bagnoli, Italy-these later relocation at Grosseto and Pisa, Italy; also, an Italian Army veterinary hospital organization was set up under U.S. Army veterinary supervision, but this was found to be unsatisfactory to the needs. Later, in the fall of 1944, the 6742d Quartermaster Remount Depot (Overhead), which had been improvised in early 1944 and was operating the depot system in the Peninsular Base Section, was divided. The ?-6742d Quartermaster Remount Depot (Overhead) moved into southern France where it became the 6835th Quartermaster Remount Depot under the jurisdiction of the European theater, and the 6742d Quartermaster Remount Depot (Overhead)-?, which remained. Another provisional organization, the 2610th Quartermaster Remount Depot-formed in January 1945-replaced the latter after V-J Day. There were no Services of Supply veterinary hospitals in the Peninsular Base Section to relieve the Fifth U.S. Army of its sick and wounded animals until after the spring of 1945. At that late date, the 2604th Veterinary Station Hospital (Overhead) and the 2605th Veterinary General Hospital (Overhead) were organized locally; also, the Italian Army's 1st Veterinary Station Hospital and 2d Veterinary General Hospital were integrated into the base section's animal evacuation and hospitalization system. Transportation of hospital cases of animals was provided by the 643d and 644th Veterinary Evacuation Detachments which were activated and organized within the Mediterranean theater in mid-March 1945.

The veterinary food inspection services were continuous from the unloading docks of the ports, to the cold-storage plants and base section depots to the railheads and truck heads and issue dumps behind the combat troops. All sorts of food were inspected for sanitary condition and suita-


bility for shipment. A major program was developed to lessen food losses encountered by improper storage and rough handling; and a system of sorting the good from the cases of damaged or deteriorated items accomplished much to conserve the theater's subsistence supply, particularly at the ports and depots. In a generalization of the subsistence supply, the theater veterinary service noted-

It is believed that the subsistence shipped to this theater from the Zone of Interior has been of remarkable high quality. Practically all rejections of such subsistence have been the result of damage in handling, shipment and storage. The one notable exception to this has been canned milk. A considerable quantity of this product has been lost because of faulty cans and bacterial growth in the milk. Specifications for the milk cans have been changed recently, and the resulting product has been much more satisfactory.

Throughout the campaign, the base sections have taken over food dumps left behind by the advancing Fifth U.S. Army. Such dumps have consistently yielded heavy rejection rates. Army agencies apparently issued only full cases, and simply stacked and left all broken cases and loose cans. C-ration cases were commonly found in use as dunnage, and weather protection was often insufficient or entirely absent. These conditions combined to yield great amounts of damaged subsistence which were taken over by SOS agencies, but which subsequently had to be discarded as unfit for human consumption.

Other heavy losses were suffered because of the use of subsistence as "Flatting" in ships carrying heavy equipment. Tanks, landing mats and artillery crushed cases of canned goods severely. This practice has been discussed with the Quartermaster and steps have been taken to discontinue it.

A large amount of perishable subsistence has been lost as a result of methods that were employed in the stowing of refrigerator ships. Supply ships arriving in this theater are ordinarily partially unloaded at several different ports. In many cases, it has been found necessary to unload, reload, or shift cargo not intended for the particular port in order to reach those portions of the consignment which are to be unloaded. This has resulted in excessive handling and exposure of perishable subsistence with consequent loss of condition before its arrival it the final destination. Repeated efforts have been made, in cooperation with the Quartermaster, to have the refrigerator ships, leaving the Zone of Interior for this theater, loaded in such a manner that the consignment for each successive port of call is available without moving other cargo. To date, these efforts have met with little success, but they are being vigorously continued by means of cables, letters and conferences, both personal and via teletype.

Subsequently, during September 1944, the major veterinary principles for the care and preservation of subsistence supplies were set forth in a command letter that was circulated throughout the Services of Supply organization (5).

Other base subcommands.-There were a number of other minor commands in the Mediterranean theater and another two base sections which were transferred to the European theater. The latter were the Coastal Base Section (later redesignated Continental Base Section, and finally as Continental Advance Section) organized in July 1944, and the Delta Base Section, which was formed in October 1944. Both were established by Communications Zone to support the advances of the Sixth Army Group in southern France and to operate the rear bases. On 20 November 1944,


these were transferred to the European theater. Then, there was another subcommand located within the geographic boundaries of Peninsular Base Section; namely, Rome Area Command, later referred to as Rome Area. This was set up in July 1944 under the direct jurisdiction of theater headquarters, and the 72d Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment was assigned thereto later that year. In mid-1945, the food inspection activities in the Rome Area were taken over by the 6649th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment (Provisional). Another separate subcommand comprised the U.S. Service Forces for personnel and activities in the Bari area in southeastern Italy. Initially, these were AAF controlled, and generally referred to as the Adriatic Depot. Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "B" (later redesignated the 888th) was assigned there in the fall of 1943, and, after mid-1944, the newly formed 70th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment was assigned. On 28 February 1945, these detachments, along with other Service Forces units and organizations in the Bari area were transferred from the control of the AAF/MTO (Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations) and were reorganized as the theater subcommand called Adriatic Base Command. Soon after the cessation of hostilities, the inspection workload was taken over by the 6650th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment (Provisional), and, on 31 October 1945, Adriatic Base Command was closed out. There were also the Azores Command, established in March 1944 and later that year transferred to the jurisdiction of the Eastern Defense Command of continental United States, and the Military Headquarters, Balkans, which was organized in February 1945 and disbanded soon after V-E Day. They had no assigned veterinary personnel, however.

Fifth and Seventh U.S. Armies

The major Ground Forces units in the North African or Mediterranean theater were the II Corps, the Fifth U.S. Army, and the Seventh U.S. Army. The II Corps comprised the command element of the Center Task Force that landed in North Africa in November 1942. Though assigned to the Fifth U.S. Army, which was activated in January 1943, the II Corps was deployed more or less independently for short periods of time, with the British forces in the Tunisia Campaign, and with the Seventh U.S. Army in the Sicily Campaign. The corps headquarters moved into the campaigns on the Italian peninsula as a Fifth U.S. Army element and continued as such until the end of the war. On its initial arrival from the European theater, the Headquarters, II Corps, medical section included a staff veterinary officer.

Headquarters, Fifth U.S. Army, was organized during January 1943, with headquarters at Oudjda, French Morocco; personnel and units from the Center and Western Task Forces and from the Zone of Interior were included in its early composition. A veterinary officer was added to the  


army surgeon's office early in the year. On 9 September 1943, the army elements invaded the Italian mainland near Salerno and did not stop in the advances northward until the Germans capitulated in early May 1945; there were five major campaigns: Naples-Foggia, 9 September 1943 to 21 January 1944; Anzio, 22 January to 24 May 1944; Rome-Arno, 22 January to 9 September 1944; North Apennines, 10 September 1944 to 4 April 1945; and Po Valley, 5 April to 8 May 1945. During the first winter, most of the combat divisions had their own division veterinarians and retained them primarily for the purpose of developing and maintaining animal pack trains. The latter were indispensable where only trails and broken roads linked the frontline outposts, which were "holed-up" on the sides of the southern Apennines, with the ammunition dumps and ration depots in the valleys. Also, human casualties were evacuated by pack animals. Gradually, Italian Army mule pack companies, some being brought from Sardinia, were attached to the divisions to replace the improvised divisional trains, but even so, their animal casualties were taken care of by U.S. Army veterinary personnel or were under their supervision.

Some few of the animals originally were cared for by a provisional veterinary hospital and a French Army veterinary ambulance company, but early in 1944, three veterinary evacuation hospitals came into the Fifth U.S. Army area; namely, Italian 110th, Italian 130th, and U.S. 17th-the latter recently arriving from the Zone of Interior. For a short period of time in the summer of 1944, the 45th Separate Veterinary Company was assigned to the army, but in the fall of that year, both it and the 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital were transferred for deployment with the Seventh U.S. Army. The winter months of 1944-45 saw two additional veterinary evacuation hospitals brought into the animal evacuation system of the Fifth U.S. Army, the Italian 211th and Italian 212th. At this time, there were only Italian Army mule pack companies in the front lines; in fact, since mid-1944, when the U.S. 601st and 602d Field Artillery Battalions had departed for southern France after a short period of deployment, there were essentially no U.S. Army horses and mules in this field army. In January-February 1945, U.S. military animals were returned to the army front when the U.S. 10th Mountain Division arrived from the Zone of Interior; it included a full complement of divisional veterinary units. Then, in April 1945, the 36th Separate Veterinary Company came into the theater and was deployed in support of the 10th Mountain Division. By the end of active hostilities-following more than a year of urgent need and countless improvisations-there had come into the Mediterranean theater a U.S. field army with approximately 4,500 mules and horses available for pack transport and with a complete veterinary evacuation system that extended from the combat divisions, through the field army's hospitals and evacuating units, to the rear Service Forces area with its veterinary station and general hospitals and remount depots.  


The Fifth U.S. Army veterinarian had little concern over the subsistence supply, but finally, in April 1945, the 67th and the 77th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments were assigned for deployment at rail and truck heads, ration dumps, and ratio breakdown points. Following V-E Day, the workload of these units was taken over by the 6648th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment (Provisional). Though the Fifth U.S. Army was earlier named for the occupation forces in Austria, it was not so deployed after V-E Day; in September 1945, its headquarters ceased operations.

The Seventh U.S. Army-successor to Headquarters, Force 163, that was established in January 1943-directed Operation HUSKY, or the invasion of Sicily. Throughout the Sicily Campaign (9 July to 17 August 1943) there was no veterinary officer on the staff of the army surgeon; however, Headquarters, II Corps, and most of the combat divisions which participated included assigned veterinary personnel. The veterinary officer in the 3d Infantry Division reported on the improvisation and maintenance of a divisional animal pack train; in about 2 weeks, more than 700 mules and horses were procured locally. Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments "B" and "T" landed at Gela and Licata, Sicily, 4 or 5 days after the invasion?landings were begun. In October-November 1943, the Seventh U.S. Army lost these two detachments by transfer-"B" to the AAF Adriatic Depot, and "T" to Island Base Section.

After the Sicily Campaign, the Seventh U.S. Army was stripped of most of its combat divisions while planning was undertaken for Operation ANVIL-DRAGOON, the invasion of southern France; the Southern France Campaign (15 August to 14 September 1944) saw the junction of the Mediterranean's forces with the Allied Armies of the European theater near Dijon, France, and the subsequent disintegration of the Germans in southwestern France. A veterinary officer was added to the army surgeon's office on 11 August 1944. Veterinary units and units with assigned veterinary personnel that now were moved into southern France included Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments "A" (later redesignated 887th) and "T" (later the 890th), 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital, 45th Separate Veterinary Company, 1st and 4th Medical Laboratories, 68th Quartermaster Refrigeration Company, 6th Port, and ?-6742d (later renamed 6835th) Quartermaster Remount Depot. Of course, some of these did not come into southern France until October or November 1944. Other units or organizations with assigned veterinary personnel included the 3d and 45th Infantry Divisions. the 601st and 602d Field Artillery Battalions, and the Service Forces headquarters of Coastal Base Section and Delta Base Section. About midway through the Rhineland Campaign, or on 20 November 1944, the foregoing were transferred to the jurisdiction of the European theater.  


Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces

The Army Veterinary Service with the Mediterranean theater's air forces originated in the fall of 1942 when a veterinary officer was assigned to the medical section of the Twelfth Air Force and one to the Air Force Service Command Medical Section-just before their departure from the United Kingdom. Soon after arrival in North Africa, both officers were reassigned to the XII Air Force Service Command. During the early part of 1943, the identity of the Twelfth Air Force was lost in an Allied air command (namely, Northwest African Air Forces), but in the fall of that year, it was reconstituted, and on 1 November 1943, its bomber command elements were released into the organization of the new Fifteenth Air Force. The latter was largely based in southeastern Italy and became a part of Headquarters, USSAFE (Strategic Air Forces in Europe), which directed the bombing of Germany; the Twelfth Air Force, on the other hand, provided tactical air support to the ground combat forces in the theater, and thus, its bases were scattered. By the end of 1943, XII Air Force Service Command included its staff veterinarian at Algiers, and there were veterinary subsections with the I, II, and III Air Service Area Commands. For the Fifteenth Air Force bases, there was only Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment "B" assigned since November 1943 to the Adriatic Depot at Bari; the 70th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment was assigned there, too, but much later (in August 1944).

In January 1944, the two air force headquarters were reorganized under the newly created Headquarters, AAF/MTO (Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations) and XII Air Force Service Command was enlarged into the new AFSC/MTO (Air Force Service Command, Mediterranean Theater of Operations) to support both Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces. The senior veterinary officer with the air forces now was reassigned to the medical section of AFSC, and veterinary subdetachments were established with the latter's area commands. In July 1944, this veterinary service organization was revised with the organization of the 6565th, 6566th, and 6567th Veterinary Detachments (Air Force Overhead). The last of these three units included the ranking veterinary officer of AFSC, with location at Naples; in August 1944, this detachment commander was designated additional duty assignment as Air Force Veterinarian. The 6565th and 6566th, each with an organic section (totaling two officers and three enlisted personnel), were assigned for duty at bases of the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces. It was not until February 1945, however, that the two food inspection detachments, "B" and 70th, along with other service forces personnel and activities in the Bari area, were released from the AAF to the new Adriatic Base Command. After V-E Day, the two air forces disbanded their veterinary detachments, and the 6567th Veterinary Detachment (Air Force Overhead) was disbanded sometime before November 1945 when AAFSC/MTO was closed  


out. The inspection of subsistence supplied to airbases comprised the major workload of the veterinary service with the theater's air forces.


The Army Veterinary Service in the European theater had its formal start on 9 May 1942, when a veterinary officer, newly arrived from the Zone of Interior, was assigned to the Medical Section, Headquarters, USAFBI (U.S. Army Forces in the British Isles) (6, 7). There were then four other veterinary officers in the theater command, which had been created in January 1942-this to succeed a type of U.S. military mission (namely, Special Observer Group) that had been set up in London, England, about 8 months earlier. In the same month that the theater veterinary service was first organized, the aforementioned command headquarters established its Services of Supply, to which a senior veterinary staff officer was assigned directly from the Zone of Interior by the War Department. This officer, however, on arrival overseas in mid-June 1942, was moved into the staff position of theater veterinarian.7 In the interim, on 8 June 1942, Headquarters, USAFBI, was renamed Headquarters, ETOUSA. At this time, to the theater organization were added the INDIGO forces or U.S. Army Forces in Iceland, and the MAGNET forces or U.S. Forces for North Ireland, each with its own force veterinarian.

By the end of 1942, the European theater's veterinary service included 29 officers and 35 enlisted personnel. The rate of increase had been sufficiently rapid, but at least a third of this number were now in North Africa-recalling, of course, that Center Task Force and supporting units for Operation TORCH had been mounted out of the United Kingdom and eventually, during February 1943, were fully removed to the jurisdiction of the new NATOUSA. Another four veterinary officers were assigned to duty in Iceland. The officers in the United Kingdom were at station, as follows (fig. 22):

Medical Section, Headquarters, Services of Supply 
Surgeon's Office, Southern Base Section 
Surgeon's Office, Northern Ireland District 
Depots G-20 and G-110
Ports at Bristol and Clyde  
V Corps  
29th Infantry Division 
Eighth Air Force
VIII Air Force Service Command 
8th Bomber Command
Air Bases at Burtonwood and Molesworth

Operation BOLERO, or the buildup of the U.S. forces in the United Kingdom, continued through 1943. During this year, the assignment status of the theater veterinarian was changed. Since June 1942 and lasting until

7Theater veterinarians or those acting in that capacity included Lt. Col. H. J. Juzek, VC, from 9 May 1942; Col. E. M. Curley, VC, after 11 June 1942; Col. C. B. Perkins, VC, after 21 August 1944; and Col. J. R. Sperry, VC, after September 1945.  


FIGURE 22.-Veterinary officers in the United Kingdom. Kneeling (left to right): Maj. Richard A. Huebner, Capt. Jules J. Werner, Capt. Max G. Badger, 1st Lt. Vernon D. Chadwick, 1st Lt. Joseph G. Feinberg, Lt. Col. J. Y. Baldwin, RAMC, Capt. Martin Kadets, 1st Lt. John M. Livingstone, 1st Lt. Samuel Hutt, Capt. Marcus M. Mason, Flt. Lt. Raeburn, RAF. Standing (left to right): Capt. James G. Eagelman, Capt. Arthur B. Rogers, Maj. Benjamin B. Blood, Capt. Alexander Morris, Col. Walter L. Perry, MC, Lt. Col. Francois H. K. Reynolds, Lt. Col. Hugh F. J. Arundel, Col. Harry J. Juzek, 1st Lt. Charles S. Hallet, Col. Edward M. Curley, 1st Lt. Robert R. Altaker, Lt. Col. Robert J. Robertson, Capt. Morse A. Gates, Lt. Col. Charles O. Grace, Maj. Russell S. Wann, Capt. James A. Brennan, Maj. Robert B. Meeks, Capt. Ernest W. Rivers, Maj. Samuel E. Bunton, Jr., Capt. Karl F. Steinbach, Maj. Guy H. Todd, Capt. Max H. Carlin, Capt. Albert M. Michaels.


March 1943, this staff representative of the Army Veterinary Service in the European theater was actually on duty with the medical section at Headquarters, Services of Supply, located at Cheltenham. In March 1943, the chief of that section (or Chief Surgeon) was transferred to the theater headquarters at London, and the medical section itself, now removed to the higher level of theater headquarters organization, was subdivided into two geographically separated components: The Deputy Chief Surgeon's Office at London and the Deputy Chief Surgeon's Office at Cheltenham. The latter retained the major operational parts of the theater's medical staff, including the theater veterinarian, whereas the medical planning staff was relocated in London. Eventually, the entire medical staff for Headquarters, ETOUSA, was moved to the European Continent during the period 16-28 August 1944. As of 31 December 1943, the Army Veterinary Service in the theater included 65 officers and 135 enlisted personnel-the officers being assigned to duty as follows:

Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army

1st Medical General Laboratory            
1st Medical Concentration Center         
Medical Sections of Eastern, Northern Ireland, Southern, and Western Base Sections                     
General Depots G-14, -15, -16, -20, -22, -23, -25, -30, -35, -40, -45, -47, -50, -55, -65, and -75
Quartermaster Depots Q-101, -103, -104, -105, -107, -108, -111, and -125
Ports of Embarkation: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 14th, and 15th
Chemical Defense Station, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army
Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, First U.S. Army:
     VII Corps
     2d and 3d Armored Divisions
     1st, 5th, and 9th Infantry Divisions
     101st Airborne Division
Surgeon's Office,  U.S. Army Air Forces in United Kingdom:
     First Army Air Force  
     2d Veterinary Platoon (Aviation), with 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and  22d Veterinary Detachments

The status of the theater veterinarian that had been gained in early 1943 lasted for about a year. During this time, there was a central coordination of veterinary technical affairs in the services of supply organization with those of the ground troops and air forces. However, this situation was terminated more or less in early 1944, when SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) came into existence to direct the landings and operations of the Allied ground and air combat forces on the Axis-dominated European Continent. As the operational controls over the U.S. field armies and AAF were transferred to control by the new senior Allied headquarters, the U.S. Army theater command was reduced substantially to a service forces organization. It would have only administrative control over, and would provide only logistic support to, these air and ground forces. Concurrently, the medical staffs of theater headquarters and services of supply headquarters were consolidated into a single medical section, and the theater veterinarian acted in a double-job assignment.

After D-day, and with the relocation of theater headquarters on the  


European Continent, the services of supply element of the combined theater?services of supply headquarters was renamed Headquarters, Communications Zone. From the medical standpoint, the theater Chief Surgeon was also the Chief Surgeon of the Communications Zone, and he and his staff, including the veterinary officer, functioned in this dual capacity. Between the theater veterinarian and the senior veterinarian on duty at each army headquarters, liaison was effected.

Just before D-day for Operation OVERLORD (on 6 June 1944), the theater's veterinary service organization included 118 officers and 282 enlisted personnel. These numbers were increased gradually during the succeeding months so that, as of 31 December 1944, they were 170 and 623, respectively. The changes were marked by new arrivals of units from the Zone of Interior, but a very large increase occurred during November when, following Operation ANVIL-DRAGOON (on 15 August 1944), the Seventh U.S. Army and supporting forces in southern France were transferred from the North African and Mediterranean theaters to the control of the European theater. As of the beginning of 1945, the veterinary officers in the theater were assigned as follows:  

Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, European Theater of Operation, U.S. Army

Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, Communications Zone
     17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital  
     45th Veterinary Company (Separate) 
     Veterinary Food Inspection Detachments: 166th, 167th, 168th, 169th, 887th (formerly "A"), and 880th (formerly "C")
     1st Medical General Laboratory 
     Medical Laboratories: 4th and 361st 
     804th Hospital Center
     Medical Sections of Southern Line of Communications, Continental Advance Section, Advance Section, United Kingdom Base, and the Brittany,  Channel, Normandy, and Seine Base Sections
     General Depots G-18, -23, -24, -30, -35, -45, -47, -50, -65, and -75 
     Quartermaster Depots Q-101, -107, -108, -111, and -114
     Quartermaster Base Depots: 52d, 53d, 54th, 55th, 56th, 58th, 62d, 63d, 68th, and 72d
     Quartermaster Refrigeration Companies (Fixed): 68th, 283d, 284th, 285th, 3089th, 3090th, 3091st, 3093d, and 4163d  
     6835th Quartermaster Remount Depot
     Signal Pigeon Companies: 277th, 278th, 282d, 284th, and 285th 
     Transportation Corps Ports: 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 51st  
     Chemical Defense Station, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army 
Surgeon's Office, Headquarters, Armies: First, Third, Seventh, Ninth, and Fifteenth
     Armored Division: 3d
     Infantry Divisions: 3d and 9th 
     Airborne Divisions: 17th, 82d, and 101st 
     1st Airborne Task Force
     Field Artillery Battalions (Pack):
          601st and 602d
     Medical Laboratories: 1st, 7th, 10th, 28th, and 362d
Surgeon's Office, U.S. Strategic Air Forces 
     Area Service Command, U.S. Strategic Air Forces
     Surgeon's Office, Eighth Air Force 
     IX Air Force Air Service Command 
     1st and 2d Veterinary Detachments (Aviation), with 10th through 26th Veterinary Sections
Civil Affairs Division, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force 
European Civil Affairs Unit and Regiments: 2d, 3d, and 4th


Soon after V-E Day, the veterinary personnel in the theater was rapidly cut back. On 1 July 1945, Headquarters, ETOUSA, was redesignated Headquarters, USFET (U.S. Forces in European Theater), and a month later the wartime Services of Supply or Communications Zone was renamed Theater Service Forces. Both had a main headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, and a rear headquarters at Paris, France. In the interim, or effective on 14 July 1945, SHAEF went out of existence. Of course, by this time, service forces units, the field armies, and the AAF were being disbanded if not deployed to the Pacific theaters, and the Third and Seventh U.S. Armies were moving into their occupation duties in Germany. The regular veterinary service organizations that remained were operated for protecting the subsistence supply to troops and rendering veterinary animal service; however, a large number of veterinary officers who were surplus to the immediate military situation were temporarily utilized in CA/MG operations for occupied Germany. As of the end of 1945, only 67 officers and 128 enlisted personnel remained.

In regard to the accomplishments of the Army Veterinary Service in the European theater, particularly as relates to the inspection of food supplies, it must be observed that the matter of personnel assignments was such that no satisfactory brief explanation can be given of its operational organization. With the exception of the several quartermaster refrigeration companies (fixed) and the port units which operated over large areas but had too few veterinary personnel, inspections along the entire system of subsistence supply to troops were rendered on a provisional basis by veterinary personnel who, for the most part, were assigned to other organizations or were detached to service with units (fig. 23). The staff sections of Headquarters, ETOUS A, did not act favorably on the recommendations of the theater veterinarian or on the requisitions of base section commanders that were made for organizing veterinary food inspection detachments, though such units were being used in the Asiatic-Pacific theaters, and the AAF/ETO were utilizing somewhat similar units since the fall of 1943. Eventually, however, in the spring of 1945, a few such detachments (four in number) were organized on the European Continent-these joining two others which had come into southern France from the North African theater. Instead, veterinary inspection personnel routinely were assigned against so-called overhead allotments and provisional organizations in the base section subcommands. For example, on 14 June 1943, provisional Emergency Treatment Groups were authorized, aggregating 60 veterinary officers and the same number of enlisted personnel; also, veterinary enlisted personnel were specially assigned to medical hospital units of a given bed capacity. As the military operations developed on the European Continent, the procedure for assigning veterinary personnel to Emergency Treatment Groups was discontinued, and in its place a theaterwide personnel space allocation for 30 officers and 90 enlisted personnel was set up


FIGURE 23.-Veterinary personnel inspecting ration reserve dumps in the European theater.

and distributed among the existing base section subcommands of the Communication Zone organization. From such organizations, units, or base section headquarters to which they were assigned, the veterinary personnel then were attached for duty at general and quartermaster depots and other installations which were receiving, storing, issuing, or otherwise handling subsistence. When these depots and installations were closed out and moved into another area or base section subcommand-a constant changeover-administrative directives for the individual veterinary personnel to relocate were belatedly received. Following V-E Day, when quartermaster base depot units were selected for redeployment to the Pacific theater, recommendations were made by the headquarters staff of the European theater to satellite veterinary subdetachments directly on these units-which perhaps should have been done much earlier.

In connection with the losses of veterinary officers from the combat divisions after mid-1943, when the latter's T/O's were amended to delete the personnel space vacancies that had authorized the veterinary assignments, it was observed (6) in the European theater that this was-

* * * of definite detriment to the supervision of adequate veterinary service and the accomplishment of our mission, despite the fact that argument has been presented by various individuals concerning the value of the Veterinary Officer in these assignments. It is considered that there is no more important problem than the provision of sound edible food to those in the field, especially during war when the obstacles of adequate


refrigeration and competent handling are magnified. The Division Veterinarian constitutes the last link in the chain of inspection from the date the animal is slaughtered to provide food. It is felt the Division Veterinarian is most important in the chain of inspection, since without this last step in the complicated and detailed inspection procedure, all may be lost by contamination or spoilage. When food supplies were captured * * * the absence of trained veterinary personnel in the field units below Army, made the complete and adequate inspection of these materials almost impossible. There is little doubt that many food supplies acquired under these conditions were consumed by troops at the front without the protective benefit of veterinary examinations. After these organizations had consumed articles they desired, the existence of remaining food stores was then reported to higher headquarters. Because of the strong desire of troops for fresh meat, clandestine slaughter was sporadically practiced and, here again, no adequate examination was made either before or after slaughter.

Many of the defects in the transportation, storage, and other handling of subsistence supplies that were reported upon in other oversea theaters were observed also in the European theater, the single exception being, of course, that there was not the tropical heat that influenced the deterioration and losses at so rapid a rate in Africa, the Middle East, and in the Pacific areas. Also, semipermanent or permanent-type protective covering of subsistence stockpiles was the rule; outside of this theater, such storage was usually an exceptional condition. In matters relating to transportation, the Army Veterinary Service sought to minimize food losses by recommending the discontinuance of "flatting" of cargo in ships with cases of subsistence, the maintenance of constant temperatures in refrigerated subsistence during truck and rail shipments from ports to depots, and the reporting to concerned Transportation Corps and Quartermaster Corps officers on the types of damage which were occurring in the various types of subsistence cases. Refrigerated railroad cars presented problems of overall shortages in numbers, insanitary conditions or lack of cleanliness, and the scarcity of re-icing facilities along the food supply system. An innovation in moving perishable subsistence was its loading on trucks and covering with a layer of straw and a tarpaulin-with the refrigerated condition of such loads holding well up to 18 or 19 hours.

Generally, the subsistence supply originating from the Zone of Interior was found to be satisfactory, and from time to time, changes were recommended for its improvement. For example, salt-packed bacon and ham were suggested for packing in ventilated boxes; the grade of butter shipped from the United States was raised so that an acceptable quality product would arrive in the theater; and large-sized drums of dried milk and large cans of evaporated milk were unsatisfactory because only a part of drums were used at a time, with a rapid spoilage of the unused portions, and the cans were readily damaged by handling in transit. Other veterinary problems with the subsistence supply, involving laboratory investigations, included the salvage of such ships cargoes as were contaminated by salt water or bilge water, the studies on British reports of caseous lymphadenitis infection in carcasses of lamb and mutton of U.S. origin and of salmonella


contamination of dried egg powder manufactured under civilian Federal inspection, the value of canned rations which had been alternately frozen and thawed (in Iceland), and the disposal of unfit foods or garbage to the local civilian population without the attending threat of disseminating animal diseases. It may be observed that the civilian livestock raisers in the European theater, as elsewhere, were prone to blame Army garbage as the factor for introducing animal diseases whereas the real fault was, possibly as the result of wartime conditions, the failure on their part and local regulatory authorities to properly treat (or process) such garbage prior to feeding to animals-such being done pursuant to law or regulation, in peacetime.

The Army Veterinary Service inspected captured foods before their issue to troops or disposition to civilians, surplus stores from ships arriving in the theater, and, after June 1943, fruits and vegetables. Some small quantities of locally procured foods were inspected. In this connection, it may be noted, the American forces first arriving in the United Kingdom were subsisted on the British Army ration. Following the change to its own ration supply, the U.S. Armed Forces continued only the procurement of milk and a few other items, on account of the wartime food shortages for the civilian population and the prevailing standards of sanitation. The fresh milk supply was developed only in Northern Ireland for hospital patients, and ice cream was manufactured under veterinary supervision in numerous messhalls or approved civilian establishments using Army-supplied raw material. In June 1943, a veterinary officer began procurement inspections on canned chicken soup which was packed in a self-heating container, at a plant in England; actually, the canned chicken ingredient was of U.S. origin. Another food item inspected during procurement within the theater was frozen cod fillets from Iceland.

Veterinary service with animals concerned Army horses and mules, dogs, and signal pigeons-the same as in most other major oversea theaters during World War II. Horses and mules came into the theater officially for the first time during November 1944 when the Seventh U.S. Army and supporting units in southern France were received by transfer from the North African and Mediterranean theaters. Mounted units with veterinary personnel included the 601st and 602d Field Artillery Battalions (Pack) and the 6835th Quartermaster Remount Depot (Overhead); also, there were the 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital and the 45th Veterinary Company (Separate). A peak horse and mule strength approximating 1,500 animals was reached during the winter months of 1944-45 (table 20). These numbers, however, do not pertain to the captured animals (estimated at 10,000) that came into the hands of the field armies and services of supply subcommands on the European Continent. Though the Army Veterinary Service planned for the care and treatment of captured animals, little was accomplished because Headquarters, ETOUSA, set forth the  


policy statement (in March 1945) that: "No animals should be captured . . ."; instead, these animals were disposed of by impromptu turnover to the local civilian authorities. There is no question that this was a sort of reckless and wasteful practice because captured animals were assembled and frequently used by army units without benefit of adequate supervision and testing against diseases that were transmissible to troops and were redistributed (or given away) into areas without prior examination for diseases that could have decimated the local civilian animal populations-a practice that became dubious when the theater Chief Quartermaster set up a project to purchase animals from the French economy for supply to the Mediterranean theater.

TABLE 20.-Sick and wounded U.S. Army horses and mules, European theater, by months, 1944-45  

Year and month

Average mean strength


Died or destroyed

Killed in action

Length of treatment




Battle casualty


























































































































































Source: Veterinary Reports of Sick and Wounded Animals, MD Form 102, November 1944 through December 1945. [Official records.]

Army dogs of U.S. origin came into the European theater by direct shipment to the Continent, and these were utilized to a limited extent alongside British-trained dogs loaned to the U.S. units. This utilization of British-trained dogs was predicated on the fact that, during the years of preinvasion preparations in the United Kingdom, the British laws and  


regulations relating to animal importations and mandatory 6-month quarantine were recognized by the European theater as making virtually impractical the earlier use of U.S.-trained dogs. Veterinary care and treatment services for these dogs by U.S. veterinary personnel were so minimized by the theater headquarters staff to the extent that arrangements were made for the professional treatment of the sick and wounded dogs by civilian veterinarians or by the British Army veterinary service.

Services of Supply (Later Communications Zone), European Theater

Headquarters, Services of Supply, in the European theater was established in May 1942, and its medical section included a staff veterinary officer who acted in the dual capacity as theater veterinarian. After the spring of 1943, the situation was reversed when the latter, with new and primary assignment to Headquarters, ETOUSA, also acted in the dual capacity as senior service forces veterinarian; then a year later, following the formation of SHAEF, the theater headquarters and its services of supply headquarters were merged. Throughout this period, actually since July 1942, the personnel and activities of the service forces located in the United Kingdom were organized under one of several subcommands such as London Base Section (originally Headquarters Command, ETOUSA), Southern Base Section, Eastern Base Section, Western Base Section, and Northern Ireland Base Section-each with a headquarters, including a base section medical staff and usually with a veterinary officer. These base sections had direct control over the ports, quartermaster and general depots, and other units or facilities which received, stored, or otherwise handled the subsistence supply for the troops that were located in their geographic areas. In one such subcommand, the Southern Base Section, veterinary personnel, as of December 1943, were assigned to the headquarters medical staff, a port unit, two general depots, five quartermaster depots, six attached "cold sores" installations, and eight general and station hospitals-the latter had only enlisted personnel assigned.

The foregoing base sections remained under the jurisdiction of Services of Supply, ETOUSA, through 1943 and early 1944. Then, beginning in May 1944 and continuing into mid-September, the original ones were subordinated as district subcommands of the newly established United Kingdom Base (in September 1944), and eight new base sections were established when the U.S. armies invaded and moved out over the Normandy beachheads. As the cross-channel invasion got underway, the service forces component of the combined Headquarters, ETOUSA, and Headquarters, Services of Supply, ETOUSA, was renamed Communications Zone (on 7 June 1944). A small forward echelon of this headquarters staff actually moved to the European Continent, setting up at Valognes, France, in mid-July 1944, but, within less than a month and before it became fully operational, it was joined by the main headquarters staff from London. The theater veteri-


narian of this combined theater-communications zone headquarters was not included in the movement orders to the European Continent, and for a short period of time his duties were assumed by the veterinary officer assistant. On 21 August 1944, the Third U.S. Army veterinarian, Col. Clell B. Perkins, VC, was reassigned as the new theater veterinarian.

The service forces subcommands that were established and came to operate on the European Continent included Advance Section, Communications Zone, (May 1944), Brittany Base Section (originally Base Section 1, in May 1944), Loire Base Section (originally Base Section 2, in June 1944), Normandy Base Section (originally Base Section 3, in August 1944), Intermediate Section (originally Base Section 4, in August 1944), Seine Base Section (in August 1944), Channel Base Section (in September 1944), and Oise Section (later Oise Intermediate Section, in September 1944). Of course, there were changes in these; for example, the Loire Base Section was absorbed by the Brittany Base Section, and the latter was then absorbed by Normandy Base Section. Almost as soon as these were established, each base section headquarters medical staff included a Veterinary Corps officer as assistant to the surgeon. The first of these to become operational in Northwest Europe was Advance Section, Communications Zone-reaching France on 15 June 1944, and under the command control of Headquarters, First U.S. Army, until 14 July 1944. It included a section veterinarian.

While these several base sections were coming into operational existence on the European Continent, another two were set up by the North African theater for its Operation ANVIL-DRAGOON: Coastal Base Section, in May 1944, which evolved in October 1944 as Continental Base Section; and Delta Base Section, in October 1944. The former moved in the immediate rear area of the Seventh U.S. Army as it advanced through southern France, and the other operated as the rear logistic support base. Both sections originally were under the jurisdiction of their parent Headquarters, Communications Zone, NATOUSA, but, during November 1944, when the southern France area was totally transferred to the jurisdiction of the European theater, this zonal headquarters organization, having moved out of the North African theater, was disbanded and concurrently reorganized as Southern Line of Communications. In February 1945, Southern Line of Communication was discontinued, and both Continental Advance Section, with headquarters then at Dijon, and Delta Base Section, with headquarters at Marseilles, France, came under the immediate jurisdiction of Communications Zone, ETOUSA.

Soon after V-E Day, the Advance and Continental Advance Sections were disbanded, and Normandy and Channel Base Sections were merged into the new Chanor Base Section; then in early 1946, the latter was consolidated with Oise, Seine, and Delta area commands on continental Europe into the new Western Base Section, while United Kingdom Base was reorganized as London Area Office. In the meantime, or on 1 August 1945, the postwar  


European theater's Headquarters, Communications Zone, was renamed Headquarters, Theater Service Forces.

Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force

There was no Army Veterinary Corps officer on the staff of the Chief Medical Officer, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Force. Full responsibility and authority to coordinate the theater veterinary service was vested in the theater chief surgeon and his staff. There were veterinary officers assigned to G-5 Division, SHAEF, but these assignments were made in connection only with CA/MG operations in liberated and occupied areas and countries. The mission of the Allied headquarters was fulfilled on 7 May 1945, when Germany surrendered, and, on 14 July 1945, it went out of existence.

First, Third, Seventh, Ninth, and Fifteenth U.S. Armies

The veterinary service organization with the ground forces in the European theater increased gradually from the 1 or 2 officers with V Corps, which in mid-1942 comprised U.S. Army, Northern Ireland, to a strength of 37 officers and more than 150 enlisted personnel by the winter of 1944-45. The early increases were mainly due to the influx of divisions into the United Kingdom, each with their own division veterinarians, but later-after the personnel space vacancies for veterinarians in divisions and army corps headquarters had been removed-the buildup was continued by the attachment to the ground units of such service forces units as medical laboratories, quartermaster refrigeration companies, signal pigeon companies, and several animal units. Even in January 1945, however, there were 16 veterinary officers assigned to the headquarters staffs of field armies and divisions, including the First, Third, Seventh, Ninth, and Fifteenth U.S. Armies, and the 3d and 9th Infantry, 2d and 3d Armored, and 17th, 82d, and 101st Airborne Divisions. The aforementioned corps comprised the largest tactical unit in the European theater until October 1943 when the Headquarters, First U.S. Army arrived from the Zone of Interior. Its headquarters medical section included an army veterinarian. The Third U.S. Army followed, building up in early 1944 and coming into action on the European Continent on 1 August 1944. These two field armies were coordinated by Headquarters, 12th Army Group (originally called Headquarters, 1st Army Group)-the latter having, at no time, a regularly assigned veterinary staff officer. Before the end of 1944, two other field armies were added to this group: The Ninth and the Fifteenth U.S. Armies, each with a veterinary branch in the army surgeon's office. By this time, also, there had come into the Allied lines the Seventh U.S. Army, with a veterinary officer assigned to the army surgeon's office, that had advanced from the invasion beaches of Operation ANVIL-DRAGOON through south-


ern France. It was coordinated with the French First Army by Headquarters, 6th Army Group. Altogether, in five major campaigns, the ground combat forces had pushed out of their OMAHA and UTAH beachheads in Normandy and marched eastward into Central Europe.

Following the surrender of Germany, only two field armies were retained in the European theater: The Third U.S. Army in the Eastern Military District, and the Seventh U.S. Army in the Western Military District of the American Zone of Occupied Germany.

Eighth and Ninth Air Forces

The Army Veterinary Service with the air forces in the European theater was begun in mid-1942 when personnel were assigned to Headquarters, Eighth Air Force and VIII Air Force Service Command-these being activated within the theater in February 1942. Later that year, the newly organized Twelfth Air Force and XII Air Force Service Command were provided assigned veterinary officers, but these soon were transferred to the North African theater. During the fall of 1943, the Ninth Air Force came into the theater from the Middle East theater, with its own assigned veterinary personnel. A few months later, the two numbered air forces were grouped for administrative purposes under the new USAAFUK (U.S. Army Air Forces in the United Kingdom), later reorganized in March 1944 as USSAFE (U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe). The latter established its own Air Service Command, complete with a medical section including a staff veterinary officer who served in a double duty status at Headquarters, USSAFE; the same staff veterinary officer acted as technical adviser to the air surgeon on coordinating the veterinary service organization in the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces.8 The Eighth and Ninth Air Forces each had its own air service command whose headquarters medical sections included a veterinary staff officer. During the winter of 1943-44, these air force service commands obtained a better organization of their veterinary services at the various bases when two veterinary detachments, each with nine subsections, were activated. (Before March 1944, the detachments were named platoons, and the sections as detachments.) Thus, for VIII Air Force Service Command there were organized the 1st Veterinary Detachment (Aviation), and 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 17th, 21st, 22d, 23d, and 26th Veterinary Sections; the IX Air Force Service Command gained the new 2d Veterinary Detachment (Aviation), with 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, and 27th Veterinary Sections. The tactically deployed Ninth Air Force

8As of the spring of 1944, there were three numbered air forces operating in the European theater: Eighth, Ninth, and Fifteenth Air Forces. Under the jurisdiction of SHAEF, these were assigned to two major air commands: AEAF (Allied Expeditionary Air Force) and USSAFE. AEAF exerted only operational control over the Ninth Air Force to provide air support to the ground combat forces, but for administrative purposes, Ninth Air Force was controlled by USSAFE which also maintained both administrative and operational controls over the Eighth Air Force, as well as operational control (only) over the Fifteenth Air Force, which was operating from bases in, but otherwise under the administrative control of, the North African and Mediterranean theater.  


moved to France soon after the landings were made, accompanied by its veterinary personnel and units, and Headquarters, USSAFE, soon followed. The Eighth Air Force, however, continued to operate its strategic bombing operations from bases in the United Kingdom. It may be observed, also, that veterinary personnel were assigned to the Eastern Air Command, USSAFE, which during 1944 included several airbases in and about Kiev, U.S.S.R.


1. World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service of U.S. Army Forces, Africa-Middle East Theater. [Official record.]

2. Annual Reports, Surgeon, Roberts Field, USAFIL, 1943 and 1944.

3. World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service in North African and Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. Army. [Official record.]

4. Letter, Lt. Col. D. L. Cady, VC, to Surgeon, NATOUSA, 21 Dec. 1943, subject: Investigation and Survey of Veterinary Activities in North African Theater of Operations. 

5. Circular No. 101, Headquarters, Services of Supply, NATOUSA, 9 Sept. 1944 .

6. World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service in the European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army. [Official record.]

7. Weekly divisional activity reports, Veterinary Division, Office of the Chief Surgeon, Headquarters, ETOUSA, 30 May 1943 to 2 July 1945.